From the Pastor's Desk
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The main theme of today’s Scripture readings is Divine vocation – that everyone is called by God to be a witness for Christ by doing something for others with his or her life, using his or her unique gifts and blessings.
The first reading describes how Yahweh called Samuel to His service and how the boy Samuel responded to Him, saying, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Hence, God blessed him in the mission entrusted to him, and Samuel became an illustrious figure, ranking with Moses and David as a man of God.
In the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 40), the psalmist sings, “Behold, I come to do Your will,” indicating that his vocation is to obey, to do what God commands him to do.
In the second reading, St. Paul explains to the Corinthians that their Divine call is a call to holiness. Hence, they need to keep their bodies pure and souls holy, because by Baptism they have become parts of Christ’s Body and the temples of the Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel, John the Baptist claims that his vocation is to introduce Jesus to two of his own disciples as the “Lamb of God,” suggesting Jesus’ vocation to become a sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins. The disciples followed Jesus to his residence, accepting his invitation to “come and see.” They stayed with him that day. Then Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, presenting him to Jesus as the Messiah. Thus, today’s Gospel also describes the call or vocation of the first apostles and challenges us to invite others to Christ by our Christian witnessing.
1) Our Christian vocation is to live and die like the Lamb of God. (A) We live like the Lamb of God: 1) by leading pure, innocent, humble, selfless lives, obeying Christ’s commandment of love;
2) by appreciating the loving providence and protecting care of the Good Shepherd for his Church; 3) by partaking of the Body and Blood of the Good Shepherd in the Holy Eucharist and deriving spiritual strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the Sacraments. (B) We are called to die like the Lamb of God: a) by sharing sacrificially our blessings of health, wealth, and talents with others in the family, parish, and community; b) by bearing witness to Christ in our illness, pain, and suffering through our graceful acceptance of all of it; c) by offering our sufferings for God’s glory, as penance for our sins, and for the conversion of sinners. 2) Our call is to bear witness to the Lamb of God. Doing this requires a personal experience of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We get this personal experience of Jesus in our daily lives through the meditative reading and study of the Bible, through personal and family prayers, and through our active participation in the Eucharistic celebration. Once we have experienced the personal presence of Jesus in our daily lives, we will start sharing with others the Good News of love, peace, justice, tolerance, mercy, and forgiveness preached and lived by Jesus.
"We are a family, so love each other, help each other, support each other.” Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski wrote a book called Leading with the Heart. Coach K was the highly successful basketball coach at Duke University, who led his team to back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992, and to eight Final Four appearances, beginning in 1986. In his book, Coach K speaks out of his own experiences of what he has learned about leadership inbasketball, business, and life. His philosophy at Duke is very simple, but very profound. In essence, he says to his team: "We are a family, so love each other, help each other, support each other. We are a family, so use plural pronouns. It's not about ‘me,’ it's about ‘us’ and what we can do together... so don't do anything detrimental to our family.” If two freshmen oversleep and miss the team bus... he doesn't just deal with the two freshmen, he deals with the whole team. “Why didn't someone miss them? Why didn't someone check on them? Why didn't someone wake them up? If one of us is late, all of us are late! What happens to one of us... it happens to all of us... because we are a family." Isn't that a great philosophy for a basketball team... and a Church? We learn it from Andrew! It is our responsibility, our privilege, our joy, to bring our brothers and our sisters into the presence of Christ. That's number one... Andrew brought his brother
“Come and see.” Two men, who had been business partners for over twenty years, met one Sunday morning as they were leaving a restaurant. One of them asked, "Where are you going this morning?" "I'm going to play golf. What about you?" The first man responded rather apologetically, "I'm going to Church." The other man said, "Why don't you give up that Church stuff?" The first man asked, "What do you mean?" His partner said: "Well, we have been partners for twenty years. We have worked together, attended board meetings together, and had lunch together, and all of these twenty years you have never asked me about going to Church. You have never invited me to go with you. Obviously, it doesn't mean that much to you." Don't get yourself in that fix. Don't let others think your Faith doesn't matter that much to you.
When was the last time you invited someone to the Church?